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October 2011 Tip of The Month

Category: General
Posture and Healthy Aging

Having posture as a wellness goal may sound lame, but it's actually one of the biggest keys to healthy aging. READ MORE:

The seated workplace is the most dominant workplace in the world today. This fact alone creates an epidemic level of poor posture. Add to it an old injury or two and perhaps playing an asymmetrical sport like golf or tennis and it's no wonder that over 90% of adults have back problems during their lifetime. This means that if you haven't had a back problem yet, it's probably in your future.

Those who effectively train for good posture can preclude or even heal these kinds of conditions. Only a full biomechanical evaluation by qualified professionals (we offer this service) and its ensuing exercise prescription can handle all of your postural issues but here's a simple one everyone can benefit from.

First, a mini biomechanical evaluation. Lie down on the floor on your back (hardwood floor would be the best). If you make a groaning noise the way you remember your grandparents making when you were a little kid while either getting down to the floor or getting off the floor, call us immediately, you need more help than we thought!  Have a helper determine how much space is between your low back and the floor. If the space is less than approximately 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches you will need to do a hip flexor strengthening exercise. If the space is greater than 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches, you will need to do a hip flexor stretch.

Hip flexor strengthening exercise: Lie on your back, roll some towels which when compressed are 1¼ to 1½ inches thick. Place this roll under your low back directly behind your belly button. Bend the left knee and plant that left foot. Keeping your right knee only slightly bent, raise the right leg off the floor to a 45 degree angle and back down to the floor. Do as many repetitions as you can tolerate. Stop just before your form begins to deteriorate. Repeat on the other side. Perform 3 times per week with a day of rest between each time.

Hip flexor stretching exercise: Kneel on the right knee with the left foot planted in front of you. Drop the left side of the torso down to rest on top of your left thigh. Lean forward for a gentle stretch and hold for two minutes while steadily breathing through the nostrils. The area you are stretching is at the intersection of the top of your right leg and your pelvis. Repeat on the other side. Do it at least 3 times per week but it can be performed every day.

Though we have a sneaking suspicion that your doctor is in favor of exercise, we have to give you the standard statement that you should check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Getting back to whether or not posture as a wellness goal is lame, below is a partial list of the benefits of good posture. Suffice it to say that all have well founded medical and biological reasoning's behind them.

• Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
• Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis or joint replacement surgery.
• Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
• Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.,
• Prevents strain or overuse problems.
• Prevents headache, backache and muscular pain.
• Reverses rounded shoulders, Dowagers Hump, Kyphosis and pot belly.
• Contributes to a good appearance.

If your posture is not where you want it to be, its always improvable and usually completely fixable. Check out our testimonials.

And remember... Wellness Works!